Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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Then the LORD said (to Elijah), “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
Why are YOU here, beloved?
Was it to discover magnificent colors? Was it to find colorful music or awesome videos? Was it just curiosity? Was it accidental? Were you really looking for God, for Hope, for true LOVE somewhere in this menagerie we call the web?
You are Loved!!
Let’s follow the Scriptures of our daily Mass and see if we can catch those Words – simple but beautiful – Whispers to the Wind . . .
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September 30, 2021
(St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
After their return to Jerusalem from their 70-year exile in Babylon, The whole people gathered as one in the open space before the Water Gate, and they called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the LORD prescribed for Israel. . . .
Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and Ezra the priest-scribe and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people: “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep” for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!” . . . Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them. Neh_8:1-4a,5-6,7b-12
The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
And so goes our EVERY Sunday. It is the Lord’s day. It is our commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus. It is our 7th day, our Sabbath. And the precepts given us by Jesus certainly DO bring joy to our hearts. They are the precepts of Love, the precepts of repentance for our human errors in life, the precepts of hope for life eternal in our own resurrections. If you haven’t picked up that dusty old Bible lately, beloved, give it a try again. Yes, there’s sadness. Yes, there are words we can’t even pronounce. But in and through it all, there is also that JOY. When we can fall in love with the Word, the precepts of our God, both in the Old and New Testaments, we’ll find a whole new hope that will bring us joyfully to every Sunday (and every day) for the rest of our lives here in this mortal state of ours. And that’s our entry into the Kingdom of God!
Happy end of September beloved, and beginning of October!
God’s blessings of joy and peace to you always!
September 29, 2021
(Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael)
Jesus said to Nathanael, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jn_1:47-51
In the vision of John’s Revelation he saw this: Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Rev_12:7-11
To Zechariah the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, The angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news.” Lk_1:19
Upon Tobiah’s return to his mother and father, his guide revealed himself: “I shall now tell you the whole truth and conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, ‘A king’s secret should be kept secret, but one must declare the works of God with due honor.’ Now when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and likewise whenever you used to bury the dead. When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury that dead man, I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord.” Tob_12:11-15
All to the Glory of our God!
September 28, 2021
(St. Wenceslaus, Martyr)
The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus, because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.” Lk_9:51-56
How frustrating it must have been for Jesus. They STILL didn’t get it. How many examples and rebukes and teachings would it take? For you see, it’s not about revenge, or greatness, or exclusiveness, or anger, or hatred, or wealth. It’s about love, despite all those human feelings and emotions. It’s about letting go of what’s keeping us from God.
St. Francis of Assisi was once asked by his bishop why he gave up all his possessions to live a life of poverty and begging. And Francis replied that if you had possessions you would also need arms to protect them. And if you needed arms, you would not be loving others and giving to them the way God wants us to. So without possessions we would be able to love God in our neighbor the way we should. If we’re hanging on to revenge because of insult, beloved, we still haven’t let go of something, other than God. And that something just might be – ourselves.
September 27, 2021
(St. Vincent dePaul, Priest)
The apostle John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.” Lk_9:46-50
We have this tendency of being (what we think, are very good) lawyers, juries and judges when it comes to other people ‘horning in’ on our territory. I’ve always thought that it had something to do with insecurity. If we really were as good as we purport, as special as we think we are, you would think that we should welcome anyone who wants to emulate us, with open arms. We should utilize their help and their enthusiasm, rather than knocking them down. But that’s not the ‘way’ of the world. I’ve seen it in coworkers, bosses and even supervisors of volunteers.
Jesus tries to teach His disciples otherwise. Rather than judging and convicting them, He tells us that we need to welcome them. They are NOT our enemies, but should be considered our adversaries! And God knows, we can all use some more of them! So the next time we feel threatened, beloved, by someone who might seem to love Jesus a little more than us, by someone who just doesn’t understand the propriety of humility, the respect of seniority, the blessings of being ‘official,’ maybe it’s time for us to let go a little of our own pride and exude some of Jesus’ compassion. For remember, He, himself IS God and He had to do the same thing with mere, mortal us!
September 26, 2021
(26th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Mk_9:38-43,45,47-48
As a young parent, I remember when it was time to birth our first child, we vowed to quit smoking, to quit cursing and to go to Church religiously. You see, over time we all fall away from doing the right things. We’re influenced by our friends, our neighbors, our classmates and the world around us to do what seems to be acceptable in a world without morals.
Today the “leaders” of our nation are fighting to allow the murder of unborn children under the ruse of freedom of choice. And yet, God did not give us free will so that we can kill one another. And now we have deranged murderers entering the schools of those little children and opening fire. We have parents allowing them to curse and kill, if not virtually on their phones and game pods, in real life.
And then, we might ask ourselves, what have we done to prevent it. Our own children have become pawns in this big political game, under the ruse of health, or environment, or sex. It enough to make us ill, just at the thought of it. And hopefully one day we won’t all be meeting together underwater with millstones around our necks. Maybe it’s just another wake-up call for us beloved, for us to begin to stand up for what we believe. Or at least to learn what we should be believing and not what the “world” tells us.
You see, it’s all about love, beloved, not politics, not money, not opinions!
That’s what Jesus was trying to teach us!
IF we simply listen!
September 25, 2021
Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; Lk_9:43b-45
Funny how our hearing can be so selective at times, that we’ll miss some very important information when it is something we really don’t want to hear or believe. The disciples could not understand how it was possible that the Son of God, Jesus, after all his miracles and great works, could be “handed over” to men. It was inconceivable! And yet that is exactly what was about to happen.
You know, God gave his created man and woman the gift of free will. That means that, unless someone was about to hurt another person, he should be allowed to use that gift at his own discretion. Yes, people are all different. And what one person chooses compared to another may likely be very different. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to prohibit others. And yet, mankind’s actions are constantly filled with the oppression of other people’s rights. They become objects who can be handed over like bartered meat. And worse they are even physically harmed and sometimes killed. We live in a world, beloved, that never truly understood those commands of God, of Jesus, to love one another. And the best we can can do about it, as believers, is to share that love and hopefully get others to want to do the same!
September 24, 2021
Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the LORD of hosts; And in this place I will give you peace, says the LORD of hosts! Hg_2:1-9
Who is dwelling in your “house,” beloved? That is the house of your body, your soul. God desires to dwell there! Have we made room for him in the midst of all the strife and struggle? In the midst of the activity and the, sometimes, evil? God desires for us to clean out a space that He may grow within us. Are we open for something new? Are we open for a resident who will bring us peace. For our God desires to live with us, beloved. And He will make His home here, in our hearts, and in our souls. Seek Him beloved and welcome Jesus to be with us always!
September 23, 2021
(Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest)
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn_14:6
This is why, beloved, whenever we pray to God our Father, we pray through Jesus. We pray by the intercession, through the mercy and in the love of Jesus. This is why we get to know all that Jesus said and did in His time with us (as told through the evangelists in the Gospels). And whenever we feel it is too deep for us, to difficult, we pray also to the Holy Spirit who will help us discern all meaning, in all wisdom. What an awesome God we have! In power, in mercy, in wisdom and in love. BE in love with Him – Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
September 22, 2021
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. . . . Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere. Lk_9:1-6
You see, beloved, the Word of God does not go unfulfilled. When we are called, and we all are, we fulfill that call in every action and every word we say to others. It’s a Word that is filled with love. A Word that lifts up and does not tear down. Are we listening to our calling brothers and sisters in Christ? For it’s in that calling that we rebuild a world torn apart by unhealthy competition, by oppression and fear. It is in that calling that we heal the broken, restore the displaced and compassionately love the unlovable. Hearken to His voice dearest, and find the reward of answering His call!
September 21, 2021
(St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist)
Jesus said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mt_9:9-13
Is your church a source of healing, beloved, or is it just another sacrifice? Or maybe even beyond that, is it a source of hurt? Jesus didn’t come to create another source of hurt through institutions and rules and hierarchies and snobbery and pomposity and abuse. And if you’re hurting because of all that, take heart beloved, because there are those out there, (maybe hard to find sometimes) who truly DO care about you. Have faith in Jesus! Sometimes He may be all there is. But, you know what, when we can keep our faith in Him, He will lead us to an answer. He’s not looking for more sacrifice. He’s done that already for us. For you see, beloved, it’s in His Mercy that we will find our healing. God DOES love us. And He has sent emissaries to share His love with us as well. Seek out those shooting stars, those “sparks among the stubble,” beloved, and they will bring you healing. Trust in Jesus, and have Faith!
For all those who share a birthday today, may our loving God bless you and keep you and imbue His unfathomable love into your hearts and souls this day. You are loved! Know it. Rely on it. And live His Kingdom now and forever!!!
September 20, 2021
(Ss. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs)
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.” Lk_8:16-18
Jesus said, Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Alleluia Verse, Mt_5:16
From the very beginning, God created light. Light to dispel all darkness. Light to warm and to illuminate. We are a people of the light when we live by the light of our God. Jesus came to show us exactly what that light is and how to live in it. He tells us that we are to love one another. Wherever there is no LOVE, there is also darkness. Jesus pleads for us to live in the light of Love. It’s our choice. Choose Light. Choose Life. Choose Love!
September 19, 2021
(25th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Mk_9:30-37
Today, Jesus calls each of us to think about the lowest person we can imagine, and place ourselves below them. Maybe it’s someone with a handicap. Maybe it’s one of those poor people who stand on the street corners begging for help. Maybe it’s someone sitting alone locked up in a prison. You know, beloved, those people can just as easily BE us, under different circumstances. If we were lucky enough to have good parents, kindly neighbors, friends who gave us a good influence rather than a bad one, then we can count ourselves quite blessed indeed.
You see, it wouldn’t have taken much to end up on the other side of those blessings. Dad loses his job, mom gets seriously ill, sisters constantly berate you, friends are into drugs and crime. One little twist of fate and you could be the imprisoned, the homeless, the handicapped or worse. Today we’re called to open our minds and hearts to the less fortunate in life. How can we serve them? How can we be Christ to those who need Him and not that nose in the air cleric who looks down on everyone, save themselves? Something to think about, beloved! Something to work on!
September 18, 2021
Jesus told a parable about a farmer who sowed seed on different foundations and in different circumstances. Some fell on rocks, some fell on dry land, some fell in thorn bushes and some on rich, fertile soil. The metaphor was about Jesus himself, as the farmer, spreading the Word of God to different people in different circumstances. Some were open to hearing and listening, some closed minded, and some didn’t even hear it. He concluded that: the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” Lk_8:4-15
How well do we listen, beloved? We all have ears to hear, but we don’t always listen. Can we hear the singing melodies of the birds, the whistling sounds of breezes through the pines, the babies cooing, the coyotes howling, the cows a’mooing. Or are we too deafened by the blaring of the rap antics, the honking of city horns and the screaming of angry pedestrians to catch the beauty in God’s creation. Sometimes it’s not easy to find the Word in the midst of too many babbling words. But if we listen with perseverance, we will find Him! And His name is Jesus!
September 17, 2021
(St. Hildegard of Bingen, Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
Accompanying Jesus were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. Lk_8:1-3
For down-playing money as much as the Church does, we find that even in the Scriptures, Jesus needed His resources. And so it is with the Church.
If we go all the way back to the time of Abraham, we remember the story of Melchizedek, the King of Salem, the King of Peace, to whom Abraham gave 1/10 of his booty, from wiping out some other kings, in order to save his nephew, Lot. This is where we get our factor of the 10% tithe.
As a non-profit organization, the Church depends on our support to feed and house our priests, to teach our grandchildren, and to save the poor from starvation and destitution.
Its interesting how Luke specifically acknowledges the women in Jesus’ ministry today, and the importance of their support in that ministry, especially in a middle-eastern time and culture so centered on men.
Of course, the point that Paul was making to Timothy in our first reading, and that Jesus repeatedly made in his discourses and parables, was that we need to be very careful not to let our need for money, for the basics of survival, turn into a love for it, like an idol. . . .
Because, just as wrong as it is to idolize our cars, or houses, or cats, or dogs, or even our kids, we are called to love God first and foremost. And then, we’re called use our resources, just like the women of Galilee, to support the needy and to spread the word of God’s Love for everyone through Jesus, who gave his entire being to teach, to nourish, to redeem and to save us from the fires to which Satan and his money will lead us.
Today, in reminder, we give thanks to our God, who not only provides our needs, but gives us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to overcome those temptations that cause us to fall away from Him.
Blessed be God forever!
September 16, 2021
(St. Cornelius, Pope and St. Cyprian, Bishop; Martyrs)
There was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he (Jesus) was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. . . .
Jesus said to the Pharisee, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Lk_7:36-50
We have been forgiven enormously, beloved, by one who gave His life for us! Is our love for Him proportional to that sacrifice? Think about it, beloved. Are we willing to be embarrassed? Are we willing to die for the Love that has be given to us? Maybe it’s time to sacrifice a little for the boundless love that we’ve been given!
September 15, 2021
(Our Lady of Sorrows)
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. Jn_19:25-27
O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.
Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.
Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.
By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.
Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Albrecht Durer, c. 1500
September 14, 2021
(Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Jn_3:13-17
September 13, 2021
(St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
St. Paul wrote, “It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.” 1_Tm_2:1-8
The centurion sent friends to tell him (Jesus), “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.” Lk_7:1-10
Today’s Scriptures reflect on the importance of prayer. By His own example Jesus taught us in words, in action, in supplication for others and for Himself that communication with God in prayer is fruitful. Just as we would with a loving parent, we give God thanks for all He has done for us. We worship and acknowledge His power and wisdom, His creation and mercy, His love and His guidance. And then we let Him know our needs and the needs of those WE love. And in our faith, and in our patience, and in our recognition that we do not know all of God’s plan for us, we humbly accept His answer – be it our way or not. But regardless of that answer, we know in our hearts that God loves us no matter what. And we exalt, blessed be His Name forever.
September 12, 2021
(24th Sunday Ordinary Time B)
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” Mk_8:27-35
The crowds would gather around Jesus for a healing. Sometimes it was the healing of a broken down body. And sometimes it was a spiritual healing that they sought. The world around them was so very oppressive. Between their Roman occupiers and their own religious leaders, it seemed they were just pawns in a big power struggle. So when someone would come and stand up for them, it truly was a spiritual healing.
But then, every once in a while Jesus would say something that was very cryptic to them. Cryptic like losing your life to find it. Cryptic like loving your enemy and hating your own parents. Cryptic like, what is this Kingdom that He keeps on speaking about? You see, Jesus was preparing them for something so totally different than anything they ever experienced, that of course it was cryptic. And it was all about the true meaning of Love. This love of neighbor that Jesus kept referring to didn’t just mean caring for others. It meant actually caring enough to sacrifice some of our own comfort. Caring enough to even die for them, just as He would eventually do for us.
Jesus gave us the true example of what Love really means. And it is that example that shows us exactly who our God is. He is Creator, out of His unfathomable love for His Creation. He is Sanctifier, to make us Holy, as He is holy. He is Redeemer, because He is willing to give His all out of His love for us – to “redeem” us, to save us. And that is what He wants us to be and do, not only for Him, but for ourselves (collectively) as well! Want to save your life, beloved? Lose a little of that ‘self’ and give a little in sacrifice to the collective GOOD of the world! To some of us, that might feel like a pretty heavy Cross to bear. But in doing so, not only will they be saved, but we will as well!
September 11, 2021
(20-year Commemoration of 9-11 Victims)
Jesus said to his disciples: “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Lk_6:43-49
. . . And a tragedy, a disaster, a surprise reveals all: the good, the bad, the heroes, the victims, the love, the hatred, the evil, the compassion, the revenge, the forgiveness. Let us pray, beloved, that in our lifetimes we never have to bear witness to such horror again. But in the meantime, we instead serve as Jesus’ loving witnesses to all! Even the misguided! Blessed be God forever. And blessed be those who innocently had to suffer – and their loved ones!
In the Name of Jesus, we pray . . .
September 10, 2021
Jesus said, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” Lk_6:39-42
Guess we all have some kind of splinters in our eyes, beloved. They may be microscopic. And yet they still cause some blurriness in our evaluation of others. Or they may be huge beams that make us blind to everything going on around us, save ourselves. You know what, everyone else has problems too. Maybe they just don’t boast about them. Maybe they’re even pretty good at hiding them. But we have no right to condemn others when we don’t know their whole story. But what we are called to do is to show everyone compassion.
“Hey, you know what, that joke you made about me in front of my other friends really hurt. I love your joking, but it would be great if you can do it without hurting other people. And I think others might think a lot more highly of you if your jokes were a little kinder. Let’s go out to lunch and you can try some new ones on me! In the meantime, I’ll work on that splinter of mine that gave you reason to joke.”
September 9, 2021
(St. Peter Claver, Priest)
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. . . .” Lk_6:27-38
It is the most rewarding thing we can ever do in this life and yet probably the hardest: to love others above ourselves. To love without jealousy, without ownership, without hatred. To love, even our enemies. To give without expecting repayment. To lose without revenge. To forgive without the expected remorse. To not judge, even though we are constantly judged by others. To love without bounds! This is what God wants for us. And in return we will know that we are becoming more and more like our Master. We are beginning to live in His kingdom! Blessed be God forever!
Most blessed birthday wishes to my cousin Greg!
September 8, 2021
(Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Mt_1:18-23
The Scriptures for the Feast Day of the Nativity (birth) of the Blessed Virgin Mary all relate the birth of Jesus. Of course the incarnation is the most important thing that ever happened in all humanity. And yet, the description of Mary’s birth was not recorded in the Canon of Scripture. Likewise the feast of the Immaculate Conception which commemorates the Conception of Mary in the womb of her mother Anna was also not described in the Scriptures. Yet there are non-Canonical writings which describe the tradition of Mary’s conception and birth. These can be found in the Protoevangelium of St. James (see link under today’s date, above). It’s a wonderful story, much like the Elizabeth and Zechariah’s conception of John the Baptist (Lk_1:5-25).
Blessed be God for choosing such a worthy vessel (in Mary) as the “ark” of the New Covenant, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us!
September 7, 2021
Brothers and sisters: As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ. Col_2:6-15
. . . With Joy in your hearts!
September 6, 2021
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge! Ps_62
Rest, Hope, Rock, Salvation, Stronghold!
What better reason could there be!
Trust in God, beloved,
and you will find rest!
September 5, 2021
(23rd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
The people brought to Jesus a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mk_7:31-37
Ephphatha – Be Opened
The core message of Jesus’ mission to us.
Beloved, are we opened to hearing God in our lives?
Are we opened to different interpretations of the biases we have in life?
Are we opened to changing our own instinctual or environmentally created beliefs?
Or are we chained to the past, to our daily crosses, to habits that just do not belong to a Joyful Christian? Jesus tells us, “Be Opened!” Not always easy, but something definitely worth striving for!!!
Quote from Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI
At the heart of today’s Gospel (Mk 7, 31-37) there is a small but, very important word. A word that — in its deepest meaning — sums up the whole message and the whole work of Christ. The Evangelist Mark writes it in the same language that Jesus pronounced it in, so that it is even more alive to us. This word is “Ephphatha,” which means, “be opened.”
Let us look at the context in which it is located. Jesus was traveling through the region known as the “Decapolis,” between the coast of Tyre and Sidon, and Galilee, therefore a non-Jewish area. They brought to him a deaf man, so that he could heal him — evidently his fame had spread that far. Jesus took him aside, touched his ears and tongue, and then, looking up to the heavens, with a deep sigh said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened.” And immediately the man began to hear and speak fluently (cf. Mk 7:35).
This then is the historical, literal, meaning of this word: this deaf mute, thanks to Jesus’ intervention, “was opened.” Before, he had been closed, insulated, it was very difficult for him to communicate; his recovery was ‘”openness” to others and the world, an openness that, starting from the organs of hearing and speech, involved all his person and his life. Finally, he was able to communicate and thus relate in a new way.
But we all know that closure of man, his isolation, does not solely depend on the sense organs. There is an inner closing, which covers the deepest core of the person, what the Bible calls the “heart.” That is what Jesus came to “open,” to liberate, to enable us to fully live our relationship with God and with others. That is why I said that this little word, “Ephphatha – Be opened,” sums up Christ’s entire mission. He became man so that man, made inwardly deaf and dumb by sin, would become able to hear the voice of God, the voice of love speaking to his heart, and learn to speak in the language of love, to communicate with God and with others.
For this reason, the word and the gesture of ‘”Ephphatha” are included in the Rite of Baptism, as one of the signs that explain its meaning: the priest touching the mouth and ears of the newly baptized says: “Ephphatha,” praying that they may soon hear the Word of God and profess the faith. Through Baptism, the human person begins, so to speak, to “breathe” the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had invoked from Father with that deep breath, to heal the deaf and dumb man.
Let us turn in prayer to Mary Most Holy, whose Nativity we celebrated Saturday. Because of her unique relationship with the Incarnate Word, Mary is fully “open” to the love of the Lord, her heart is constantly listening to his Word. May her maternal intercession help us to experience every day, in faith, the miracle of ‘”Ephphatha,” to live in communion with God and with others.Pope Benedict XVI
September 9, 2012
September 4, 2021
Beloved, God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard, Col_1:21-23
Persevere in the Faith, beloved, and God will preserve you for eternal life!!!
September 3, 2021
(St. Gregory the Great (1st), Pope)
Jesus told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.” Lk_5:33-39
Ever notice, beloved, that every once in a while, these parables of Jesus make total sense. We can clearly understand the logic of what Jesus is saying and maybe even understand how it relates to His situation with the Pharisees and the masses. Now today, we might not be real familiar with wineskins, but we DO know our clothes.
And I think that most people in our (older) generations are also familiar with, not just throwing out those old clothes, but passing them on to our younger siblings and even patching some holes. And it wasn’t necessarily – that we loved those old clothes so much. But we just couldn’t afford to constantly re-clothe everyone with new stuff.
So we learned that you had to wash that new patch to shrink it down before sewing it on
to those old jeans. Funny, today, people pay big money to buy old jeans with holes already in them. And, you know what, as we age, outside of clothes, we really DO tend to prefer what we’re familiar with – all those old things and habits.
Some people just can’t let go of the old Latin Mass; the 40’s or 60’s or 80’s music; or even political parties that have long since totally changed their platforms. This is what Jesus was dealing with in the Pharisees. They were quick to judge anything that did not fit – exactly – into their religious box. And when something new came up, like Jesus promoting Love of neighbor, OVER strict adherence to the Law of Moses, those Pharisees were just torn apart, like those newly patched, old jeans, or exploded like the old wineskins filled with newly formenting wine.
You see, Jesus was introducing a whole New Covenant. And it didn’t mean that the Old Covenant was obsolete. Those Ten-Commandments were, and are, still important steps for growing in our moral integrity. But they were given, they were presented, to a people who were still children in their maturity.
After 1300-years from the time of Moses, Jesus would have expected them to have grown from needing a “good” or “bad” description of every little thing they did, into knowing God’s Truth in their hearts. And yet, the Pharisees simply expanded those 10-Laws into 600, and hung them like balls and chains around the necks of the people. And the masses, like the Israelite slaves, had to comply, at the threat of excommunication if they didn’t.
Jesus told us that Life should not be just a checklist of do’s and don’ts. There is another dimension to Life, and it’s called JOY. If we can simply plant Love in our hearts, then we’ll find that the fruit of its growth will be Love in return. And that Love will spread like wildfire to the point where we don’t even need to think about the ten-commandments any more, because the Love will cover them all, and even exceed them.
Unfortunately, even 2000-years later, there are so many people enslaved to the Old ways of Competition, and Hatred, and Selfishness, and Revenge, that Jesus’ New Covenant of Love, Forgiveness and Salvation are often still a distant dream away for many.
And yet, WE all know, that Jesus IS our Hope. And now it’s up to us to spread that Hope, and that Joy, and His Love, despite the obstacles.
And LOVE will be victorious,
just as Jesus has always been!
September 2, 2021
Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” . . . After the enormous catch that followed, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” . . . Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him. Lk_5:1-11
My, if catching fish was such an incredible success with the help of Jesus, in comparison to doing it on their own, imagine what we can accomplish with the help of Jesus as well. Catching men? Sometimes it’s near impossible to catch even a smile from another man, woman or child! And yet, with the help of Jesus, through God – ‘ALL things are possible.’ And when we can apply that principle, not as a good luck charm, but out of true Faith, we truly will accomplish His will – especially getting those smiles – let alone souls!
September 1, 2021
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. Lk_4:38-44
Wouldn’t it be nice to just say to that fever, that cold, “be gone,” and all is well! And yet, think about it. How many moms could think less of that miserable morning feeling, only to serve her kids breakfast, drive them to school and get on with her day. How many nurses or doctors or emergency personnel or even business people would refuse to take a day off just because of a sniffle or a fever.
Well, it’s a different day today, post covid. But just think about the ability we DO have to get over illnesses with the power of the mind and the will. Of course it’s always better to eat well, exercise and build up our resistance to those illnesses, but when they come, it really is also better to get some, most likely needed – rest. Today we have medicines and vaccines and all kinds of remedies besides. We do well to take care, be prepared and prevent others from suffering the same maladies.
Blessed be God for these bodies and minds that help us stave off our ailments!
And blessed be Jesus for giving us hope!